That's the conclusion that emerges from the number of tweets surrounding the three events – the death of Lady Thatcher, the announcement of the new pope, and this morning's announcement by Manchester United's press office Twitter account (at the newsdesk-friendly hour of 9.17am).
According to data collected by Twitter, the hour after Thatcher's death saw a million tweets in the following four hours.
Sir Alex broke that easily, as the much-expected news of his retirement from the manager's job had more than 1.4m mentions on Twitter within the first hour, and the original story was retweeted and "favourited" more than 18,000 times, according to official Twitter figures.
But the announcement of the choice of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new pope on 13 March garnered substantially more mentions, 7m, demonstrating that while football may be a religion for many, it still has a little way to catch up with the officially recognised ones, at least on social media.
The Ferguson story took eight of Twitter's top 10 trending topic spots, and four of the top 10 worldwide – all based around the #ThankYouSirAlex hashtag introduced by the club.
The conversation around Ferguson's retirement peaked at 9.34am, with 13,000 tweets per minute on the topic, Twitter said. While impressive, it's some way short of the intensity of the tweets around the US Superbowl, which hit 231,500 tweets per minute when a power cut delayed the game.
The choice of Twitter to make the announcement fits with a tendency of a growing number of football clubs and footballers to communicate via the social medium – without offering "exclusives" to news organisations with whom Ferguson, in particular, has had a prickly relationship.
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